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From the beginning of this record I could tell there was something missing, but I could not put my finger on it. Eventually I realized what it was... it's so cleaned-up, so dry, without the swampy, hazy atmosphere that usually surrounds a Wizard record. There is not one bit of ambience surrounding any section of the music that doesn't bore and/or anger me. Wizard can do better... I know they can, cause they've done it on every release.
To understand what I mean you have to look at all the changes... If you knew someone who didn't have any idea who Electric Wizard was, you coud turn on 'Come My Fanatics' and they may say "That RULES!" But a few minutes later you could turn on 'Let Us Prey' and they could be simply disgusted. Well, it works that way with all of their albums. Everytime another Wizard comes out, there's a few HUGE differences.
So, here's what doesn't strike me about this record... we've already covered the dryness, but let me elaborate with some references. Listen to the aforementioned Let Us Prey. That album has too much of what this album lacks... You know that sound of lots of low-leveled drone? A feeling that you are unsure where they just went with the guitars? Yeah, well that was helpful with this band and their edge. But it's all gone here... they play straightforward doom, and not of the best caliber either. If this were a record by someone else, I'd probably throw the rating up somewhat, but I'm holding it to Electric Wizard standards, and We Live just isn't cutting it.
We Live has Jus Obourn throwing in some (more or less) clean vocals, which haven't really been prominent since Come My Fanatics... and at times they sound really good, but believe me, he is struggling.
The drums are almost going to make me hike up the rating, because that drummer may as well have written the music for the band... He knows what's gonna happen, and when, and he fucking owns it. There are parts where I think his drums actually decide where the riffs go, and I tell you, the man can write some doom.
Unfortunately, this album is only a little better than the first Wizard album. The problem with that is the 4 successfully improved albums, and 2 slightly better EPs that have come since said debut. I hope the follow up to this album is awesome...
...oh, right. It is.